All 30-plus states that passed sterilization laws should compensate their victims. The forced sterilization article (AP, June 20) states that North Carolina is the only state willing to do so.

Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the term “eugenics” and is known as the father of eugenics. He descended from a wealthy family that became so from the slave trade.

In 1907, Indiana became the first state to pass sterilization laws, and some states’ laws stayed on the books into the 1970s. Oregon committed its last sterilization in 1981 and didn’t abolish its eugenics board until 1983.

During a 1973 lawsuit, a federal judge estimated that 150,000 low-income women may have been sterilized under federal programs alone. In some cases, poor families were threatened with the loss of welfare if they did not bring their children in for sterilization.

In 1921, Margaret Sanger, founder of the American Birth Control League, (which became Planned Parenthood in 1942) said: “The eugenic and civilization value of birth control is becoming apparent to the enlightened and intelligent… the campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical in ideal with the final aim of eugenics.”

In 1934, Adolf Hitler sent a letter to American eugenicist Leon Whitney, complimenting him for a book he had written on sterilization. Whitney was the former executive secretary of the American Eugenics Society and a colleague of Sanger. She published his writings in the Birth Control Review.

College degree recipient Elaine Riddick did not discover she had been sterilized until the age of 19. The state’s reason: She was feeble-minded, and it was hereditary.

It is frightening when the government plays God and determines who shall live and who will be allowed to be born.

Ron J. Stauble Sr.

Unity


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